My Avaya ACIS/ACSS VSP 8/9K Thread

OfWolfAndManOfWolfAndMan Member Posts: 923 ■■■■□□□□□□
Good afternoon all,

I just recently finished another term of WGU, and decided to take a course break as work is requiring some training for the new (partial) Avaya infrastructure. I would like to share my experience here as this exam is somewhat new, and will show to you a little about the newest (We have the latest) Avaya routing/switching infrastructure. Considering I know most of you on this forum are Cisco (As am I), this is what I have learned so far coming from Cisco to Avaya (Even though about 2/3s of our infrastructure is still Cisco):
-Avaya does not support Cisco proprietary protocols i.e. EIGRP, PVST and Rapid PVST, CDP, PaGP, VTP, HSRP, GLBP
-Avaya has an autosave feature and is enabled by default
-Avaya's generic IDF infrastructure (The ERS 4850) supports both stacking and dual PSUs, but has a different software architecture from the VSP 8/9K (ERS uses Baystack while VSP uses VOSS Linux-based code), so the IOS syntax is slightly different, like comparing IOS to NX-OS
-Avaya has both the option of Command line (ACLI) and GUI (EDM). Compared to Cisco's previous attempts for this on IOS, I find it quite simple to navigate the GUI
-Avaya does not support PIM Dense mode (Thankfully)
-Avaya refers to loopbacks as CLIP interfaces
-Avaya uses the term route preference in replacement of Cisco's Administrative distance and route weight in place of route metric
-Avaya's route preferences (or AD) are different than Cisco's defaults and, logically, have different AD for OSPF E1, E2, Internal, and N1/2 routes
-While Avaya does support RSTP and MSTP, it is more common that Nortel's proprietary SMLT (Split Multi-Link trunking) standard is used. This is very similar to vPC in that it uses a peer link (Called an IST) to retain information across both SMLT devices. On the IDF end, either MLT or LACP link aggregation protocols can be used. SMLT load shares traffic based on source/destination IP if it is IP protocol. If not, it uses source/destination MAC. SLPP is used for loop prevention per VLAN
-Avaya supports all standard routing protocols i.e. BGP, OSPF, RIP, static, etc
-While Cisco usually has ECMP enabled by default with a certain number of max paths, Avaya's equipment only is configured for a single path (By default) and requires ECMP manual configuration
-VLACP, an extension to LACP, is a unidirectional link detection mechanism that is recommended to be enabled on SMLT links to prevent black holing traffic.
-Avaya uses LLDP instead of CDP
-Lastly, Avaya's newest equipment supports SPB (Shortest Path bridging). This protocol is similar to Fabricpath in that it uses IS-IS routing protocol for control plane at L2, has TLVs for extensibility. SPB also is capable of MPLS/VPLS type behavior, and is capable of true multicast ECMP using BVLANs within the secondary ethernet header (SPB uses MAC-in-MAC encapsulation). SPB also uses something called a I-SID (Which spans to over 16 million) in the SPB cloud, which is similar to a VLAN tag, but I will leave those interested to read the RFC. If you want a more in-depth look of SPB specific to Avaya, I have a long, technical document on it. PM if interested. This may look complex, but it is extremely simple to configure.

This is just a list of many comparisons. Obviously, Avaya has a list of many other features that are common among all vendors, but I will leave here what you may find useful. My company has provided a year of training for all of the following Avaya Learning courses:

-Avaya routing and switching ERS 4850/VSP 4000/VSP 8000/VSP 9000
-Avaya Identity Engines (Similar to Cisco's ISE)
-Avaya Wireless (Probably not going to look at this one as we're going to Aruba)
-Avaya COM (Configuration and Orchestration Manager. Really cool tool with auto-Visio capability)
-Avaya Fabric Connect Early Adopter Bootcamp
-Lab walkthroughs hosted on a Ubuntu VM.

I am a little skeptical of this new technology but really excited to get this learning going, and if by the end of next year I still like it, I will definitely make it known. So, after this initial post, I will soon be posting the notes I've made so far (in Onenote) to document my experience and make the path for those coming in to this in the near future a little easier. :D
:study:Reading: Lab Books, Ansible Documentation, Python Cookbook 2018 Goals: More Ansible/Python work for Automation, IPSpace Automation Course [X], Build Jenkins Framework for Network Automation []


  • OfWolfAndManOfWolfAndMan Member Posts: 923 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Back again folks. Found out today I will be going to Riverbed training next month, so gotta get going on knocking this certification out. Attached below are my notes so far:!177&authkey=!AC4Tz-74FvlcHQo&ithint=onenote%2c

    A lot of what I've covered this week is mainly hardware/software architecture of the 8/9K VSP. Along with the differences and capabilities of the different APIs i.e. ACLI, EDM, and off-box EDM AKA COM (Communication Orchestration Manager).
    :study:Reading: Lab Books, Ansible Documentation, Python Cookbook 2018 Goals: More Ansible/Python work for Automation, IPSpace Automation Course [X], Build Jenkins Framework for Network Automation []
  • OfWolfAndManOfWolfAndMan Member Posts: 923 ■■■■□□□□□□
    It's been a busy yet productive week. Baby is on the verge of being here, and I am still able to comfort the wife while making respective advances in my study sessions.

    Spent a rough 12ish hours this week on study, excluding the hands-on command line I have gotten with the VOSS/BOSS command line within the last 4 months. Reading and then doing really puts you ahead of the game, as always.

    This project is about three weeks out from completion for campus before we begin ToR design for the Data Centers. I'm really looking forward to that part.

    As you will see in my notes, this is what I covered this week:
    -IP Multicast: Most of this was redundant from Cisco for the most part. PIM-SM, IGMPv1/2/3, Fast leave feature, and BSR (Bootstrap router). Avaya does not support Auto RP
    -Routing Protocols BGP and OSPF: Same stuff here as well, except OSPF network types supported is only passive, broadcast and NBMA. No support for point-to-point or point-to-multipoint
    -Security: The usual security mechanisms. CP-Limit, DHCP snooping, ARP inspection, source guard, port security, bpdufilter (Same as BPDUguard), ACLs and route policies, along with EAPOL/802.1x. I think the only thing I need to go back and cover is MACSec
    -Route preferences: Not the same as Cisco's. If you want to know the defaults, I made a post in my blog (First one ever) that shows them.
    -IPFIX: A vendor-neutral approach for Netflow v9. RFCs include 5101 and 5102. Not much to configuration.
    -Other usual topics: IPv6, MPLS, VRFs: The usual overview. Nothing new here.
    -Fault Detection: Some of these may be new- VLACP is an extension to LACP, but also compatible with MLT, that detects unidirectional links, which detects link failures using VLACP PDUs. SLPP - A loop prevention protocol used in conjunction to disable VLANs if a certain packet threshold is reached within a certain period of time. This is used in conjunction with an SMLT cluster. Rx thresholds on core SMLT VLAN should be staggered to prevent both links from err disabling simultaneously. It should not be enabled on the IST link.
    -SMLT, RSMLT and DMLT: Again, similar to vPC. DMLT is a switch stack that uses a separate port on different members in the stack to aggregate the links using MLT
    -VLANs: Avaya supports port-based (The usual), protocol based (Non-IP), and policy based (Source MAC/Source IP) VLANs.
    -SPB: Since this isn't on the agenda for the first exam, I'm not going to cover much here, but I will post a very technical, extensive document that provides everything you need to know about SPB. Topics covered: L2VSN, L3VSN, IP Shortcuts, Native SPBM Multicast, I-SID, B-VLAN and C-VLAN, and UNI port types.

    I plan to take the test within a week and a halfish depending on how I feel after finishing up the small remainder of material. Plan is to review what I have and go over some of the less familiar protocols a couple more times before I schedule.
    :study:Reading: Lab Books, Ansible Documentation, Python Cookbook 2018 Goals: More Ansible/Python work for Automation, IPSpace Automation Course [X], Build Jenkins Framework for Network Automation []
  • OfWolfAndManOfWolfAndMan Member Posts: 923 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Well guys, update:

    I scheduled the test yesterday, and barely passed. 69% was the passing and 69% was what I got :D.

    Firstly, without violating NDA, I would like to say this test was MUCH more straightforward than any Cisco exam I've taken and doesn't try playing words.

    Based on what I encountered, I believe the Avaya learning material is not enough in depth for me to have completely aced this exam, however by getting the hands on experience, it really helped in boosting my knowledge. My one recommendation is Avaya needs to have some more detailed explanations of some of the commands within the ACLI. There are also some technologies I believe the course material did not go enough in depth in. Not only did I use the video material, but I also read through some of the configuration guides and they still didn't have enough details with a couple technologies I read.

    Based on what I reviewed in the learning materials, all technologies were well explained except for maybe SLPP. The problem, as I said above, was more with deciphering some information in some of the commands than anything.

    Obviously this is a learning process and I am new to the Avaya side of things, but I think time within the ACLI and EDM will help me advance the most efficiently.

    For now, I will be leaving this thread and coming back later for the ACSS when I have a little more hands on. I will try finishing up my CCDP studies within this next several weeks, so see you all there!
    :study:Reading: Lab Books, Ansible Documentation, Python Cookbook 2018 Goals: More Ansible/Python work for Automation, IPSpace Automation Course [X], Build Jenkins Framework for Network Automation []
  • AmadanAmadan Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Good job, keep updated.
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